AAR makes new home at old Florida Today site

AAR has relocated to the old Florida Today complex on U.S.1.

The old Florida Today building on U.S. 1 used to sport large letters that spelled out GANNETT, the name of its parent company. Today, there’s a new tenant inside and new letters adorning its exterior — AAR.

Independent aviation services provider AAR Corp. moved into part of the newspaper’s old home south of Suntree Boulevard on Nov. 1, said Ted Harkin, AAR´s Vice President and Program Director for Government Services. The Chicago-based company relocated from Palm Bay because the Palm Bay building’s lease was expiring “and we wanted to be closer to our customers that we support,” Harkin said.

The renovated location is now part of a 65-year-old company with operations in more than 20 countries and more than 6,000 employees. More than 200 employees work at the U.S. 1 complex, Harkin said.

AAR serves commercial and government customers through its Aviation and Expeditionary Services divisions, which design technical, operational, logistic and financial solutions. The U.S. 1 facility supports AAR’s aviation, maintenance and supply chain programs for its commercial and government customers, Harkin said.

Florida Today had occupied the building at 1 Gannett Plaza from 1986 until 2019, when the newspaper moved its operations a mile north to the first floor of the Glendale Park Office Building at 1005 Viera Blvd. In 2018, Gannett sold the building for $7.25 million to Twenty Lakes Holdings, a New York-based real estate investment company.

The building’s interior was updated and refreshed, and electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems were modernized, Harkin said. “Additionally, some of the old industrial areas that housed small printing machines were converted to office space,” said Harkin, who added that AAR occupies only the building’s primary office spaces. The facility also has a new address: 1 AAR Way.

AAR Corp. has been recognized with multiple awards, including Bloomberg Government's BGOV200 list of top federal contractors in 2019 and 2020, U.S. Veterans Magazine’s Best of the Best 2020 list for top veteran-friendly companies and making Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Best Midsize Employers for two consecutive years.

“At AAR, we constantly search for the right thing to do for our customers, for our employees, for partners and for society,” AAR Chief Commercial Officer Chris Jessup stated in a press release. “Our mission is to be the best at designing and delivering technical and operational solutions to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of our commercial aviation and government customers.”